Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will endorse Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president on Thursday, in advance of the state’s primary on Feb. 28, GOP sources told National Journal and CBS News.
Snyder will announce his support for the former Massachusetts governor at a lunch in Farmington Hills, Mich., where Romney is to address the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce and the Livonia Chamber of Commerce.
Snyder is supporting Romney despite their difference on a matter of major discussion and interest in the state: the government’s massive bailout of the auto industry. Romney has opposed the bailout, saying the companies should have been allowed to go into a managed bankruptcy. Snyder believes the bailout worked, telling The New York Times in November, “I would have had some differences on how they did it, but I’m not going to second-guess it. The more important thing is the results. And the auto industry is doing very well today.”
Snyder’s endorsement will be helpful but probably not decisive in Romney’s upcoming battle against rival Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator who has caught up to him in recent polls in Michigan. Popular South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley endorsed Romney in that key primary state last month, but he lost to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. However, a snub from Snyder would have been embarrassing for Romney in a state he claims as home. Romney was raised in Michigan and his father was governor there.
Like Romney, Snyder is a former venture capitalist who won election in 2010 by campaigning as an outsider with business savvy. His backing comes on top of other establishment support for Romney in the state.